Composer, conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein had a lengthy storied career. His music speaks of the “can-do-ism” of Americans. It crossed through jazz, classical, musicals, television and movies. Bernstein is an iconic figure in our musical heritage.
Yusef Lateef was an American jazz mufti-instrumentalist, composer and educator who extended the possibilities of what it meant to understand and expand in the jazz genera with a universal sensibility. In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe illustrates what the music and legacy of Lateef and his music can teach us about moving past our own ideas of fulfillment, beyond any limitations, to understand the possibilities and richness in the present moment.
Mary Lou Williams was a a giant in the jazz world in the beginning of the 20th century. As an arranger, composer and pianist she worked with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman and went on to mentor jazz legends like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
In this installment of Liner Notes Rabbi, jazz historian and musician Neil Blumofe explores how the idea of a “Mother” can be extended beyond our biological lines to include those who love and nurture us, and help to bring us up in this world so we can in turn help and love others.
Lee Konitz is an American jazz composer and alto saxophonist, who continues to build space for evolving styles and techniques in his work on the alto-sax. Inspired by Benny Goodman, Konitz carved out a sound that was, at times, contrary to prevailing ideas of what was “cool” in jazz in the shadow of Charlie Parker.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the importance of Konitz’s life and work, and what his dedication to his craft can teach us about re-inventing our days and selves as we live.